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Ministry Of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Digital Migration Policy


For

Television Broadcasting in Uganda

April 2011

FOREWORD
The shift in Ugandas broadcasting sector from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting technologies is set to revolutionize the broadcasting industry in the same way when Compact Disc (CDs) and or Digital Video Disc (DVDs) improved the music and videos industry when they replaced the old analogue audio and videocassettes. This change on the whole is driven by digitization which has lead to convergence of technologies. It has long been established that the public spectrum is a scarce resource and in this era of heightened demand, digital migration will provide us with opportunities to offer different services and applications to our people due to the freed spectrum. The freed spectrum will be utilized not only of providing new and improved broadcasting services, but also additional communications services traditionally not provided for in the broadcasting radio frequency band such as mobile telephony and wireless broadband as well as dedicated delivery of government information and services. This Digital Migration policy, therefore, sets the parameters of migrating the country's broadcasting sector from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. It is evident however that Uganda will be working on a tight schedule in order to meet the set national targets, in conformity with International Telecommunications Unions dateline of 2015, when all countries must have migrated to digital terrestrial broadcasting. The time to migrate to the digital broadcasting technologies has inevitably arrived. We have to embrace it as a major step in improving our people's lives and this policy, therefore, is a bold step in our quest to achieve that goal. I therefore appeal to the implementers of this policy to ensure immediate consumer education and creation of awareness that will enable a smooth transition to meet the analogue switch of date of 2015 target.

.. Signature Hon. Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Uganda is a signatory to the International Telecommunications Union which is responsible for standardization and regulation of radio and Telecommunications Worldwide. The development of this policy, therefore, is in line with the ITU Recommendations of the Regional Radiocommunication Conference of 2006 (RRC06) and the subsequent Geneva 2006 Agreement (GE06) of which Uganda is a party. The 2006 Regional Radio communication Conference (RRC-06), resolved that the switch over from analogue to digital broadcasting services should be effected by 2015. This process commonly referred to as Digital Migration involves converting the radio and television broadcast signals from analogue to digital technology. This policy document however focuses on television broadcasting. This policy was developed through a consultative process. The policy draws on the outputs generated and key recommendations made by the Digital Migration Working Group (DMWG) established by the Minister of Information and Communications Technology in 2008, the private broadcasters as well as inputs received from the public through public dialogues held in months of February, March and May 2009. This policy provides a framework, among others, to: a) Establish a policy environment within which digital broadcasting migration is implemented; b) Create an environment for the uptake of digital terrestrial television by households, including the poor; c) Ensure a future for broadcasting existing services and introducing new services, taking into account the gaps related to programming of content as well as parliamentary and government information, especially for the poor; d) Give effect to the decision to implement digital migration within a three-year dual illumination period; e) Provide a framework for the provision of community television and mobile broadcasting services;

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f) Create a conducive environment that enables development of the creative industries; The migration of the national broadcasting system from analogue to digital technologies promises not only a variety of opportunities, but it also poses a number of challenges, which requires robust policy approaches if national development outcomes are to be achieved. The Ugandan Society is confronted by a wide range of developmental challenges such as reducing the digital divide and the information gaps, as well as building social cohesion and a common national identity, poverty eradication, and employment creation. Digital broadcasting has the potential to contribute significantly to addressing these challenges. Accordingly, the Ugandan Government has identified migration to digital broadcasting technologies as a national priority. The radio frequency spectrum freed-up through the digital migration process, often referred to as 'digital dividend', has the potential not only to provide new and improved broadcasting services, but also to enable additional lCT services traditionally not provided for in the broadcasting radio frequency Band, such as mobile telephony and wireless broadband. The digital dividend, however, can only be realized after the migration process is completed. The key benefit of digital broadcast technologies therefore is that it facilitates a more effective utilisation of the scarce national radio frequency spectrum; far more efficiently than analogue technologies. This means that existing broadcasting services can be provided using less of the radio frequency spectrum they currently occupy, hence impacting on the additional and dedicated delivery of government information, education and health. In addition digital broadcasting facilitates the delivery of e-government services, the opportunity for developing new skills and the creation of new jobs, and new investment opportunities. The process of migration to digital broadcasting technologies begins with the 'switch-on' of digital broadcasting transmission signals and ends with the 'switch-off of the analogue ones. Until analogue switch-off occurs there is a period of 'double illumination'; a period during which both analogue and digital broadcasting television services are simultaneously offered.

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The switch-on date is July 2011 and the switch-off date is December 2012. The preparatory stage which begins immediately is planned to last for about two and half years effective July 2009. During this period digital broadcasting services will be delivered on pilot basis up to July 2011 when digital broadcasting will be officially launch in Uganda. It is envisaged that this 3-year dual illumination period will reduce the costs of digital migration. During this period digital broadcasting services will be delivered on pilot basis. Achieved in a phased manner, national broadcasting digital signal coverage shall be covering 50% of population by 2010, 80% of population by 2011 and close to 100% by 2012 enabling analogue switch-off. For the digital migration process in Uganda to be successful within the stipulated three-year dual illumination, it is necessary to have a clear government policy and Implementation Plan. Also critical is the co-operation of all the relevant stakeholders working together with government. Given the country's socio-economic status, it may also be necessary to consider incentive schemes to support a significant number of households to enable them adapt the current analogue television sets to digital by means of Set-Top-Boxes (STB). The STBs will be enabled to receive services from different broadcasters. STBs will have standardised operating systems prioritising security features, interoperability and inter-connectability. As a means to achieve universal service and access to digital terrestrial broadcasting, basic STBs will have to be made available and affordable. Digital broadcasting will contribute significantly to accelerating the building of social cohesion and achieving national identity in Uganda through the dissemination of appropriate content that adequately reflect the country's cultures. It also brings with it the creation of two market segments that is content provision and infrastructure provision. As such, two licenses will be introduced and implemented at the earliest opportunity; one on content and the other on signal distribution (infrastructure). Uganda Broadcasting Corporation shall be the sole Signal Distributor for the first 5 years of implementation of the policy. This position shall be reviewed after the 5 years.

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ACRONYMS
3G AM BC BSS CTV DCP DBMG DTH DTT DTV DVB-T FM GE-06 GE-84 GE-89 ICT IPTV ISDB ITU MDTV MICT NEMA NTSC QoS RRC-06 RTSP STB T-DAB TV UCC UHF VHF Third Generation of Mobile Telephony Amplitude Modulation Broadcasting Council Broadcasting Satellite Service Cable Television Digital Channel Plan Digital Broadcasting Migration Group Direct to Home Digital Terrestrial Television Digital Television Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial Frequency Modulation Geneva Agreement of 2006 Geneva Agreement of 1984 Geneva Agreement of 1989 Information Communication Technology Internet Protocol Television Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting International Telecommunication Union Mobile Digital Television Ministry of Information and Communications Technology National Environment Management Authority National Television Systems Committee Quality of Service Regional Radiocommunication Conference of 2006 Real Time Streaming Protocol Set Top Boxes Terrestrial- Digital Audio Broadcasting Television Uganda Communications Commission Ultra High Frequency Very High Frequency

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TABLE OF CONTENT
FOREWORD .............................................................................................................................................. i EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................... ii ACRONYMS ......................................................................................................................................... v 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4. 1.5 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................... 1 Background to the Policy Formulation Process ......................................................................... 1 The Importance of Digital Migration ......................................................................................... 2 Benefits of Digital Migration..................................................................................................... 2 Advantages of Digital Broacating and Transimission ................................................................. 3 Situational Analysis .................................................................................................................. 4 Current Broadcasting Infrastructure & Technology in use ............................. 4 Broadcasting Market structure and Legislative Framework ............................ 5

1.5.1 1.5.2 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 5.0 5.1

RATIONALE FOR DIGITAL MIGRATION ........................................................................... 6 Digital Migration and The National Development Agenda ........................................................ 6 Bridging the Digital Divide ........................................................................................................ 6 Increasing Access to Information and Services.......................................................................... 7 Building National Identity and Social Cohesion ......................................................................... 7 Development of the local content industries ............................................................................ 8 Radio Frequency Spectrum as a National Public Resource ........................................................ 8 THE DIGITAL MIGRATION POLICY FOR UGANDA ..................................................... 10 Policy Statement .................................................................................................................... 10 Policy Goal ............................................................................................................................. 10 Purpose of the Policy.............................................................................................................. 10 Policy Areas of Action............................................................................................................. 11 Guiding principles .................................................................................................................. 11 Policy objectives..................................................................................................................... 11 Policy Strategies ..................................................................................................................... 12 IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK ................................................................................... 16 The Roles of different stakeholders ........................................................................................ 16

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5.1.1 5.1.2 5.1.3 5.1.4 5.1.6 5.2 5.3 5.4

Role of Government .................................................................................................. 16 Roles of Broadcasters .............................................................................................. 16 Role of the Regulator................................................................................................ 17 Role of the Public ...................................................................................................... 18 Role of the Signal Distributors .............................................................................. 18

Consensus building, Consultation ........................................................................................... 18 The Establishment of the Digital Migration Task Force ........................................................... 19 Implementtion time frame ..................................................................................................... 19 Digital switch-on and analogue switch-off ......................................................... 19 The Dual Illumination ............................................................................................. 20

5.4.1 5.4.2 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10

The Rollout of Digital Televison infrastructre and Set Top Box (STB) ....................................... 20 Communication and Dissemination of the Policy .................................................................... 21 Monitoring and Evaluation ..................................................................................................... 21 Legal and Regulatory Framework ........................................................................................... 21 Copyright ............................................................................................................................... 22 Financing of the Policy ........................................................................................................... 23

Glossary............................................................................................................................................. 24

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1

Background to the Policy Formulation Process

The provision of television and radio services to the general public of any nation is an essential component in the process of education, information dissemination, the creation of openness and transparency, and the general entertainment of the nation. Broadcasting technologies currently take either of the two forms, either Analogue or Digital. Digital broadcasting technology is superior to the Analogue broadcasting technology with the latter slowly being phased out worldwide. The advent in digital technologies is facilitating increased convergence between the traditionally separate businesses of broadcasting, telecommunications and the internet. In contrast to analogue, digitalization has made it possible for different types of content (audio, video, text) to be stored in the same format and delivered through a wide variety of technologies (computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc). The global trend of migrating from analogue broadcasting technologies to digital broadcasting technologies will mean that both broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructures will be used to achieve country wide coverage for broadcasting services. The main purpose of the migration process is to ensure that all broadcasting services that are delivered through analogue network/technologies are fully replicated on the digital broadcasting network/technologies with the aim of switching off the analogue broadcasting services at a specific point in time. Digital migration arises out of the Regional Radiocommunication Conference of 2006 (RRC06) and the subsequent Geneva 2006 Agreement (GE06) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Recommendations which resolved that all countries signatory to the agreement must migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting services by 2015. In order to implement the Digital Migration in conformity to the ITU Recommendations of which Uganda is a party, a Digital Migration Policy has been formulated. The policy will provide a framework that will ensue a smooth transition from Analogue to Digital broadcasting in Uganda.

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1.2

The Importance of Digital Migration

The future development of the broadcasting industry globally will be impacted by the process of digitization and convergence of communication technologies. These trends and pressures impact not only on legacy broadcasting operations, but also brings to bear new and emerging businesses based on the provision of innovative digital services and applications. The key benefit of digital broadcasting is that it enables the utilization of the scarce national radio frequency spectrum far more efficiently than analogue technologies. This means that existing broadcasting services can be provided using less of the radio frequency spectrum they currently occupy. The Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy (herein after referred to as the Policy) sees the delivery of quality education, health and small, medium and micro enterprises, the opportunity for developing new skills and the creation of new jobs, and new investment opportunities as an important component of digital broadcasting. The radio frequency spectrum freed-up through the digital migration process (often referred to as 'digital dividend) has the potential not only of providing new and improved broadcasting, but also of enabling additional ICT services traditionally not provided for in the broadcasting radio frequency band such as mobile telephony and wireless broadband as well as dedicated delivery of government information and services.

1.3

Benefits of Digital Migration

Digital Broadcasting migration presents the country with a unique opportunity to positively shape the future dynamics of the Information and Communications Technology (lCT) sector. Broadcasting digital migration will bring with it many benefits including and not limited to: a) Efficient use of the frequency spectrum, a public and scarce resource; b) More channels and, therefore, more diverse content delivered to the public; c) Better picture quality; and,

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d) Potential for special interactive services to cater for people with visual and hearing impairments such as audio description and subtitling, and egovernment delivery. These benefits provide a clear case for Uganda to prioritize the migration to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting provides not only the space within which new and cutting edge technologies can be developed, but more importantly, it has the potential to directly contribute to socio-economic development and the improvement of the quality of life of all the people.

1.4. Advantages of Digital Broacating and Transimission The advantages of digital broadcasting and transimission include the fpllowing: a) Digital technology uses only samples of the signal. It, therefore, takes less storage and transmission space (Bandwidth) leading to increased efficiency of the spectrum due to less bandwidth being taken up; b) Superior quality of the video and audio; c) Less signal deterioration on duplication; d) Signal strength is constant irrespective of distance from the transmitter within the coverage area; e) Lower transmission cost due to the fact that less transmitter power is required for the same area of coverage under analogue; f) Optimal utilisation of the transmission infrastrucutre since broadcasters would be concentrating on content production, leaving the development of digital infrastructure to the signal distributor; g) Reduction of the negative impact of the broadcasting infrastrucutre on the environment; h) Video coding would allow for different channels in the same vicinity to transmit at the same frequency without interference; i) Availability of choice/more programme channels; and j) Enables introduction of new and enhanced services such as Electronic Programme Broadcasting.

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1.5

Situational Analysis

The introduction of broadcasting services in Uganda dates as far back as 1952 when the government first started radio broadcasting services and later in 1963 introduced television broadcasting services. The broadcasting services were based on analogue technology. Until the early 1990s when the broadcasting sector was liberalized, broadcasting services were a sole monopoly of the Government. Ever since the liberalization policy was put in place, there has been tremendous growth and development in broadcasting sub-sector in the country.

1.5.1 Current Broadcasting Infrastructure & Technology in use The prevailing television brodcasting technology in use is Analogue technology. Analogue televison broadcasting services in uganda are offered in VHF and UHF frequency bands (174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz) respectively in accordance to Geneva 1989 (GE-89) Agreement. This agreement provides for international protection to broadcasters against any interference from other users of the radio spectrum in contracting member countries of these treaties. From mid 1990s to date, the government has fully liberalised the airwaves. The permits and frequencies issued to prospective broadcasters specify the type of broadcasting service (TV and/or sound) and the permitted coverage areas (region, province or nationwide). These private broadcasters have therefore set up their own infrastructure and sites alongside the state owned infrastructure to host their transmission systems. It is common to find several towers or masts within the same designated site housing different broadcasters. A prominent example is Naguru Hill, a Kampala Suburb. The liberalisation has also resulted in a very vibrant broadcasting industry in Uganda, especially FM sound and TV broadcasting, with the demand for broadcasting frequencies outstripping the supply especially in urban areas. As of October 2008, 45 television stations and 207 FM radio stations had been licensed with 179 FM radio stations and 27 TV stations already on air and operational.

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Although satellite broadcasting systems exist in Uganda, the terrestrial broadcasting networks continue to be the primary delivery systems for television and radio broadcasting services.

1.5.2 Broadcasting Market structure and Legislative Framework The liberalization policy of early 1990 brought about the separation of roles of policy formulation from service provision in the entire Information and Communications Technology sector. Synonymous to the broadcasting subsector, this meant that the role of policy formulation and development of the attendant laws and regulation remained the sole responsibility of government. The regulatory and implementation arm were left to the Regulators and Service providers (broadcasters). This arrangement is still in force. The braodcasting sector is currently regulated by two regulators as established by the Electronic Media Act Cap. 104, Laws of Uganda, in 1996 and the Communications Act Cap. 106, Laws of Uganda, in 1997. The two regulatory entities are Broadcasting Council and Uganda Communications Commision respectively. Therefore, the current broadcasting licensing mechanism is a two stage process involving the two regulators. The Broadcasting Council is responsible for licensing and regulating broadcasters and Uganda Communications Commission is responsible for radio spectrum management. Both regulators are responsible for setting technical standards for radio and television stations. With the establishment of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology in 2006, the Uganda Communications Commission and Broadcasting Council now fall under the same Ministry (MoICT) that is responsible for overall policy oversight of the ICT sector.

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2.0

RATIONALE FOR DIGITAL MIGRATION

2.1

Digital Migration and The National Development Agenda

Uganda is confronted with a wide and diverse range of development challenges such as the digital divide, building social cohesion and a common national identity, poverty eradication, and employment creation. Digital broadcasting has the potential to contribute significantly to addressing these challenges and accordingly the Government has identified Migration to digital broadcasting as a national priority. Additionally, the international obligation of swicth over from analogue to digital broadcasting by June 2015 requires pronouncement of the necessary framework that would ensure that all services currently bieng delivered through analogue networks are fully replicated onto the digital networks before broadcasting services deliered through these analogue networks are discontinued.

2.2

Bridging the Digital Divide

Digital broadcasting has a key role to play in the social-economic and cultural development of Uganda. It is of fundamental importance in the emerging Information Society and knowledge based economy, in which access to information and knowledge is regarded as a prerequisite to economic and societal development. The Policy deliberately takes advantage of the opportunity provided by the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting to accelerate the achievement of the country's socio-economic development goals in general and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular. Universal Service and Access or the availability and accessibility of broadcasting services to all citizens are a key component of successful digital migration. In order for households to continue to receive television services on their current analogue TV sets after the analogue signal is switched off in December 2012, Set-Top-Boxes (STBs), which convert the digital signals into analogue signals, are required.

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Government has decided, as a matter of policy, to consider finding means of making the STBs affordable and available to the poorest TV-owning households. This support by Government is in line with its commitment to bridging the digital divide in Uganda.

2.3

Increasing Access to Information and Services

The lCT sector is one of the sectors identified as having the potential to contribute to Increasing Access to Information and Services through infrastructure roll-out, reducing cost of doing business, small business development and contributing to creating a macro-economic climate conducive for economic growth. Globally poverty is associated with low access to information and knowledge. Government therefore regards greater information and communication flows within and between communities and regions as an important tool in the war against poverty. The digital divide is to some extent a cause as well as a consequence of poverty. Access to government information and services, in particular, is fundamentally important in poverty eradication efforts. Through the effective application and use of ICTs (e-government), opportunities are created for the efficient management of information to the citizen, better service delivery, the empowerment of people through access to information and participation in public policy decision-making. The STB can be a tool for access to information and services for all.

2.4

Building National Identity and Social Cohesion

The migration to digital broadcasting will create opportunities for the development, use and wide dissemination of local content. It will also advance the expression and the efficient communication of the knowledge and experience of all communities and the country as a whole. It could in addition contribute to the integration of people from different ethnic or racial backgrounds, thus contributing to nation building. Although coverage limitations may be overcome in the digital environment, access to public broadcasting services by all regardless of their economic status, remains a fundamental principle that should not be diluted by the digital migration process. 7
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This Policy provides that the "must carry" arrangements, which require broadcasting services to carry public broadcasting services, continue in the new digital environment, fulfilling the important aspect of providing public broadcasting services to all citizens.

2.5

Development of the local content industries

Digital broadcasting will require a concerted effort to increase the pace of generating digital content. Digital Content Generation Hubs (DCGHs) aimed at generating content for digital broadcasting may be established. The DCGHs will also contribute to the development of the Creative Industries as well as job creation. In addition, the development of Creative Industries will provide an opportunity for the coverage of Ugandan stories, entertainment and cultures in multichannel digital broadcasting, thus contributing towards building national identity and social cohesion.

2.6

Radio Frequency Spectrum as a National Public Resource

This Policy recognizes that the Radio frequency spectrum is a national resource and that Government has a responsibility to use such a resource in the public interest, prioritizing it for developmental objectives. Digital broadcasting enables utilization of the scarce frequency spectrum far more efficiently than analogue technologies. Research indicates that the largest single benefit of digital migration is the freeing up of valuable radio frequency spectrum that is currently used for analogue television transmission. In broadcasting digital migration processes, the freed up spectrum is generally used for the provision of other services in addition to television such as wireless services and mobile television. Digital migration is occurring at a time when technological advances in mobile telephony and wireless broadband are making these services increasingly attractive to consumers. This Policy envisages the licensing of such services to the benefit of the majority of people. Radio frequency spectrum propagation does not respect international country borders. These factors, together with the fact that radio waves are capable of causing harmful interference over very long distances, make it essential for 8
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radio frequency usage to be internationally coordinated with Ugandas neighbours in the East African Community (EAC) region to ensure interferencefree operation of services. Competition should be promoted within the limits of available spectrum in order to ensure a smooth migration to digital broadcasting in the country and to provide a multiplicity of sustainable services to benefit both the public and the broadcasters.

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3.0

THE DIGITAL MIGRATION POLICY FOR UGANDA

The digital migration policy for Uganda aims at: 1. Establishing a policy environment within which broadcasting digital migration is implemented; 2. Creating an environment for the uptake of digital terrestrial television by households, including the poor; 3. Ensuring a future for existing broadcasting services and introducing new services, taking into account the gaps related to programming of content as well as parliamentary and government information, especially for the poor; 4. Giving effect to the decision to implement digital migration within a three-year dual illumination period; 5. Providing a framework for the provision of community television and mobile broadcasting services; and 6. Developing the content industry in general and creative industry in particular for revenue and job creation.

3.1

Policy Statement

Government of the Republic of Uganda commits itself to champion the process of Migration from Analogue to Digital broadcasting in Uganda in line with the internationally agreed switch off date of 2015.

3.2

Policy Goal

To achieve efficent and effective utilisation of Radio Specturm in line with internaltionally agreed guideline.

3.3

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework that will facilitate a smooth transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.

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3.4

Policy Areas of Action

a) Separate the role of services provision from the role of infrastrutrue provision in the broadcasting sector; b) Ensure consummer protection during the transition and beyond; c) Ensure wide availability of affordable digital receivers and set-top-boxes during digital migration; d) Ensure efficient use of Radio spectrum and the digital dividend; e) Promote local content development; f) Ensure environmental protection during the transition and beyond;

3.5

Guiding principles

The guiding principles of this Policy are derived from the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) and the Presidential Manifesto (2006). These principles include: 1. Access to Public Information; 2. Transparency and Accountability; 3. Environment protection; 4. Competitiveness and Productivity; 5. Economic and Trade infrastructure; 6. Access to quality social services; 7. Good Governance.

3.6

Policy objectives

The following are the objectives and strategies of this policy: 1. To create and separate the market segment into infrastructure servces provision and Content services provision; 2. Ensure equitable access to quality broadcasting services; 11
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3. To ensure efficient use of Radio spectrum; 4. Protect the general public against unfair practices during the transition and beyond; 5. To ensure environmental protection during the transition and beyond; 6. To promote local content develoment.

3.7

Policy Strategies Objective 1: To create and separate the market segment into infrastructure services provision and Content services provision Strategies: In order to achieve this objective Government will: a) License UBC (Infrastructure Services) as the sole signal distributor thus providing for creation of the two separate market segments that is, signal distribution (Infrastructure) and content service provision (content); b) In the interim, prior to the merger of Broadcasting Council and Uganda Communications Commission, Government, with advice from the regulator, will establish a joint technical Committee comprising of members from the two regulatory bodies, to work out, among others, conditions of the licenses for signal distribution and content providers.

Policy objective 2: Ensure equitable access to quality broadcasting services; Policy strategies: In order to achieve this policy objective Government will: a) Put in place appropriate policies on the production, access, use and distribution of content in the diverse digital services environment in a bid to address copyright issues;

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b) The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC-Infrastucture Services) shall be licensed as the sole signal distributor under the digital television broadcasting system, and Government shall review this position after 5 years to determine whether other signal distributors should be allowed in the Ugandan Market. c) Content providers are required to migrate from analogue to digital technology in the studio facilities. d) Put in place a mechanism to ensure coverage of hard to reach, remote and/or areas deemed unprofitable in the country

Policy objective 3: To ensure efficient use of spectrum, the digital dividend; Policy strategies In order to achieve this policy objective Government will: a) Adapt DVB-T standard with MPEG4 Video Coding Technique in the implemetation of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in Uganda; b) Only the Signal Distributor will be allowed to carry out multiplexing and Signal distribution services; c) Put in place appropriate policy for utilization of digital dividend;

Policy objective 4 Ensure consumer protection against unfair practices during the transition and beyond Policy strategies In order to achieve this policy objective Government shall: a) Prioritise consumer awareness (education) and skills development to assist in access and utilisation of digital broadcasting systems as well as guarding against consumer exploitation through unfair market practices;

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b) Ensure availability of affordable digital receivers and set-top boxes through fiscal policy measures during the transition period; c) Define minimum Standards and specifications for the set-top boxes to be used in Uganda in collaboration with Uganda National Bureau of Standards; d) Take practical measures to protect analogue broadcasting networks which are not able to migrate to digital broadcasting system/network from being affected by digital transmissions until the internationally agreed switch off date of June 2015 when protection ceases; e) Establish a working group that will have the responsibility of responding to public concerns even beyond the switchover as all concerns may not be anticipated in time. A platform for hearing the consumer opinions which may be channelled through consumer organizations/interest groups will be created in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and National Guidance. It is prudent for Government to monitor and evaluate the awareness, up take and use of the new services, and adjust the awareness campaign accordingly;

Policy objective 5 To ensure environmental protection during the transition and beyond; Policy strategies In order to achieve this policy objective Government shall: a) Take practical measures to ensure environmental protection in collaboration with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). In particular, appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure safe disposal of disused analogue transmission and reception equipment; b) In order to avoid establishment of parallel broadcasting infrastructure, the Signal Distributor will, to the largest possible extent, use the existing analogue infrastructure for digital transmission; c) Encourage the use of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure for broadcasting during the transition period and beyond; 14
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d) Establish a policy on infrastructure sharing such that existing infrastructure owners and new entrants can easily integrate their facilities into the distribution network.

Policy objective 6 To promote local content develoment Policy strategies In order to achieve this policy objective Government will: a) Develop human resource skills necessary for the digital transition and thereafter; b) Put in place appropriate policies on the production, access, use and distribution of content in the diverse digital services environment in a bid to address copyright issues; c) Establish a body entrusted with the responsibility of promoting diverse content development by providing financial and other support to the local content development industry.

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4.0 IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK

4.1

The Roles of different stakeholders

It is recognized that different stakeholders will be involved in the implementation of Digital Broadcasting especially during the transition period and beyond.

4.1.1 Role of Government In order to ensure that the migration process is executed smoothly and completed within the agreed timeframe, Government shall carry out the following activities among others: a) Put in place appropriate policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks to enable smooth execution of the migration process within the set time lines; b) Undertake fiscal measures to enable consumers procure set top boxes and digital TV receivers at affordable prices, for example, through tax waivers and subsidies; c) Provide appropriate incentives and support for the signal distributor and broadcasters to put in place necessary digital infrastructure and systems; d) Promote the uptake of Digital broadcasting technologies and services through consumer awareness and education, and appropriate pilot projects. e) Support the development of local content industry; and f) Invest in appropriate Communications Infrastructure to enhance digital broadcasting signal distribution and related value added services such as Internet and Datacasting.

4.1.2 Roles of Broadcasters With the introduction of the sole signal distributor, the broadcasters will concentrate on content development and leave the responsibility of signal distribution and operation to the signal distributor.

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The broadcasters will, therefore, handle the following tasks in the implementation of the new digital broadcasting services during the transition period: a) Invest in appropriate infrastructure for content development; b) Put in place appropriate human resouce to address content development; and c) Undertake extensive consummer awareness, public relations and marketing campaigns in collaboration with government to ensure smooth transition to digital broadcasting.

4.1.3 Role of the Regulator The Regulator will deal with the issues outlined below during the transition period: a) The regulator will have to enforce licence conditions as the signal distributor will be required to ensure compliance to parameters in the licenses as well as declare what has been installed on sites. This will facilitate the use of authorized transmitter powers and location of transmitters in designated broadcast sites hence minimizing incidences of interference. b) Aware that there are few suitable transmission sites in urban areas, there could be co-location of transmitters used for analogue and digital transmission during the simulcast period. This is an impact that the regulator is expected to address to mitigate any cases of signal interference between the analogue and digital networks. c) To make sure that the there is adequate information available to consumers on digital issues to ensure that disruption of consumers is minimised, the regulator will develop a communication strategy to manage various issues that arise from analogue-digital coversion process. d) The regulator needs to make sure that, where possible and necessary, the broadcasters and distributor have to meet their responsibility to provide accurate and consistent information to the consumers and the public at large.

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e) The regulator should regularly examine digital implementation issues with concerned parties and stakeholders and explore possiblitities with Government on possible assistance to broadcasters, distributor and consumers as the case may be. 4.1.4 Role of the Public Currently, most homes have installed several receiving antennas for broadcasting channels from different transmission sites. With a signal distributor in place, a single antenna will suffice since the transmitters will be radiating from one location. To this end the consumer will be required to purchase Set top Boxes or intergrated digital TV receivers in order to receive digital terrestrial transmissions.

4.1.5 Role of the Signal Distributor The signal distributor will provide: a) Carriage of the signals from the studio to distribution sites; b) Distribution of the signal to designated transmission sites; c) Broadcast the signal within the service area. d) Undertake/coordinate extensive public relations and marketing campaigns to encourage the consumers to covert to digital television.

4.2

Consensus building, Consultation

This policy was developed through a consultative process. The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT), constituted a National Analogue to Digital Broadcasting Migration Group with membership drawn from Regulators, Government Ministries and Agencies, Telecommunications Operators, Consumer Representatives, and Broadcasters. The constitution of the group was in accordance with the implementation of the international decision to move from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. The Ministry mandated the group to initiate the migration process from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Uganda with overall task of coming up with policy recommendations for migration to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Uganda. 18
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Two successive stakeholders consultative workshops were held in the Months of March and May 2009 that culminated into a public dialogue on May 15 th 2009. The public dialogue was attended by Broadcasters, Content providers, Consumer Organizations, Telecom Operators; colleagues from Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Equipment vendors and other entities with an interest in the digital Migration strategy. All issues raised discussed and agreed upon were incorporated into this final document ready for consideration by Cabinet.

4.3

The Establishment of the Digital Migration Task Force

The Policy provides for the establishment of a body to be known as Digital Migration Task Force. It will comprise representatives from the public, government, industry, organized labor and consumer groups. Key among its functions include: consumer education and awareness, liaison with relevant stakeholders, and STBs manufacturers, monitoring the implementation and providing regular reports to the Minister of Information and Communications Technology.

4.4

Implementtion time frame

4.4.1 Digital switch-on and analogue switch-off Taking into account the resolution of the ITU that the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting should end on 17 June 2015, the DBMG working group recommends that in Uganda, the preparatory stage start immediately and is planned to last for about two and half years effective July 2009. During this period digital broadcasting services will be delivered on pilot basis up to July 2011 when digital broadcasting will be officially launch in Uganda. The switch-on date of the broadcasting digital signal and the switchoff date of the analogue broadcasting signal is therefore planned for July 2011, and December 2012 respectively.. The Government recognizes that the aggressive three (3) year dual illumination period in Uganda will be a significant challenge. However, this shorter period provides a range of national benefits, including the following: o The best economic outcome through bringing forward the digital dividend and reducing cost duplication during the transitional period;

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Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda

Room to manoeuvre in relation to the global ITU-RRC agenda for digital migration; Bridging the 'digital divide' between technology have and have-nots; and Support for the emerging digital broadcasting industry in terms of the deployment of services, content and equipment.

o o

The Policy offers certainty and transparency for the public and all stakeholders. Because of its focus on incentives for new investment in network assets and for innovation in digital content services, the phased migration to the new digital services offers existing market participants the scope to plan their own commercial strategies to take advantage of the new digital opportunities. 4.4.2 The Dual Illumination Digital migration begins with the 'switch-on' and transmission of broadcasting digital signals and ends with the 'switch-off' of analogue ones. Until analogue switch-off occurs, there is a period of 'dual illumination' commonly referred to as simulcast during which both analogue and digital signals are simultaneously transmitted. In order to continue viewing television using the current analogue TV sets, the public will be required to use Set-Top Boxes (STBs) which convert the transmitted digital signal to analogue. Otherwise, it will be necessary to acquire digital-enabled TV sets. For the digital migration process to be successful within the three year dual illumination or transitional period decided by Government, it is necessary to have a clear government policy and Implementation Plan. Also critical is the cooperation of all the relevant stakeholders working together with the public. 4.5 The Rollout of Digital Televison infrastructre and Set Top Box (STB)

The rollout of the digital terrestrial transmission infrastructure shall aim at achieving the national coverage of the digital broadcasting signal in a phased manner; 50% of population to be covered by end of 2010, 8O% of population by 2011 and close to 100% by 2012, thus enabling analogue switch-off as planned. Satellite and other innovative means will be used to reach undeserved areas. The STB will allow users to view digital transmissions on their current analogue TV sets. It decodes the broadcast digital video stream and converts it 20
Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda

into a signal that can be displayed on an analogue TV set. The timing of the availability of STBs in Uganda will have a significant impact on terrestrial digital broadcasting rollout decisions. These technologies also govern the consumer experience and provide the platform for receiving not only broadcast transmission, but also a range of other advanced applications. Broadcasters are also able to better understand and manage relationships with their consumers. The current STB market in Uganda is vertically integrated, with subscription broadcasters controlling the models of STBs that are used on their network platform. In the digital broadcasting era, STBs must be enabled to receive services from different platforms and operators. This will allow different service providers to gain access to the same consumers and vice-versa for the consumers to have inter-changeability between service providers.

4.6

Communication and Dissemination of the Policy

This policy was developed through a participatory process. It is important that different stakeholders (public and private) are aware of the policy and their role in the implementation process. In order to ensure that this policy is widely known, accepted and adhered to by all stakeholders, government shall print and disseminate the policy at all levels. The MoICT and other stakeholders at all levels shall engage in communicating and disseminating the policy among all stakeholders.

4.7

Monitoring and Evaluation

A monitoring framework will be developed to monitor attainment of migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.

4.8

Legal and Regulatory Framework

The enactament of Electronic Media Act Cap. 104, Laws of Uganda, in 1996 and the Communications Act Cap. 106, Laws of Uganda, in 1997 established two regulatory entities for the broadcasting sub-sector, namely; Broadcasting Council, and Uganda Communications Commision respectively. 21
Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda

This therefore means that the current broadcasting licensing mechanism is a two stage process involving the Broadcasting Council and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). The Broadcasting Council licenses and regulates issues broadcasters whereas UCC is responsible for radio spectrum management including setting technical standards for radio and television stations. Technological developments in ICTs on the other hand are blurring the borders between broadcasting and telecommunications due to convergence which brings about shared platforms. The Internet, which is intimately linked to telecommunications, can be used for broadcasting much in the same way as a radio or television. With the establishment of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in 2006, the Broadcasting Council was transferred from the Ministry of Information and National Guidance to the Ministry of ICT with the view of creating a one stop centre for the broadcasting sector. For successful implemenation of digital migration policy, it is desirable that the harmonisation of the two laws above be undertaken with the obejctives of having a converged regulator.

4.9

Copyright

The digital platform notably enables a significant improvement in the quality, quantity and accessibility of content. New mechanisms are required to compensate content creators and distributors in an environment where it is easy to replicate perfect copies. Digital simulcast of a copyright protected for instance may results in a right to additional copyright payments even though few or no additional viewers are involved. Such demands may be perceived as a disincentive to provide or extend digital services. Developments in digital broadcasting may therefore be constrained by right holders, given the territorial nature of copyright. Legal issues on protection of electronic pay services often encrypted to ensure remuneration and/or to limit viewing to a specific territory need to be resolved. In a bid to address copy right issues the following areas need to be clearly address: 22
Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda

a) Establishment of appropriate policies on the access, use and distribution of content in the diverse digital service environment; b) Establishment of a body entrusted with the responsibility of promoting diverse content creation that supports among others, local content development industry, and; c) Streamline the development and supervision of curriculum used in the media training institutions to utilisation of digital systems.

4.10 Financing of the Policy The different components of the Policy will be financed by the various stakeholders. Government and its Regulatory arms will focus on consumer education and creation of awareness, costs associated with upgrade of the public signal distribution infrastructure, content development, quality assurance and promotion of new innovative digital based programs that will enhance the broadcasting industry. The Broadcasters will meet the costs associated with content development facilities among others.

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Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda

Glossary Broadcaster Content Digital Broadcasting Digital Dividend An entity that is responsible for the production of radio and/or television programs Programs and data is the sending and receiving of moving images and sound by digital (discrete) signals in contrast to analogue signal The unprecedented amount of Radio Spectrum that will be freed up in the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial TV Broadcasting A digital tuner is device that allows a television or radio set to receive signals via airwaves, satellite, or cable and translates them into a format the Tv can display. A Television (Tv) set that is programmed to receive digital signals instead of the analog signals. Digital TVs contains digital tuners, which allow them to receive the digital signals and translate them into onscreen images.

Digital Tuner

Digital Tv

Digital Terrestrial The transmission of a television signal with land-based Television antennas. The major difference between digital and analog Broadcasting TV signals is that the digital signal is compressed into bytes and sent as data to a receiver, while the analog signal is carrying a recorded video feed Radio Frequency The entire range of electromagnetic communications Spectrum frequencies, including those used for radio, radar, and television; the radio-frequency spectrum Set-top Box (STB) This unit that converts digital signal to analogue signal. The unit enables one to adapt the current analogue Tv set to be able to view digital Tv signals. means the process whereby the output signal of a broadcasting service is taken from the point of origin, being where such a signal is made available in its final context format, from where it is conveyed to any geographical broadcast target area by means of telecommunications media but excluding the use of facilities which operate on frequencies outside the broadcasting services frequency bands.

Signal Distribution

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Digital Migration Policy for TV Broadcasting in Uganda